Driving feel and the act of driving have always been integral to the BMW’s success. Arguably, it’s as much of a cornerstone as the brand’s most-sold vehicle: the BMW X3. The fourth generation of the BMW X3 is on the way, and as info begins to trickle out from BMW HQ, we can’t help but get more and more excited. After some hands-on testing and some insights from those who know, it looks like the newest generation of the X3 – chassis code G45 – might be the most fun to drive yet.

Heavy-Hitting Hardware

The BMW X3 gets some serious new hardware as it enters its fourth generation. Before we talk about the suspension or chassis bits, one look at the camouflaged beast reveals a lot of important details – specifically regarding aerodynamics. The new 2025 BMW X3 achieves a drag coefficient of 0.27 – the best in the segment, according to the automaker. A D-pillar “Aeroblade,” AirPerformance-Wheels (available in sizes from 19 to 21 inches), and an active-shutter kidney grille all help. We can’t see it, but the underbody panels have been reconfigured to provide an even smoother undertray, too.

In the plug-in hybrid 2025 BMW X3 we drove (pre-production, of course), we felt firsthand how different the SUV feels. New axle kinematics and elastokinematics, redesigned front and rear roll bars, and new rubber mounts on both the roll bars and chassis improve the SUV’s composure on the road. A new, low-rolling-resistance tire and wider track further improve dynamics. Additionally, repositioned subframe mounting points help hide the – admittedly heavier – G45.

The 2025 BMW X3 isn’t just about handling precision, though. The car has been recalibrated to consider factors that include not only steering angle and speed but also how the vehicle is loaded and the perceived road surface ahead of it. The result is a system that functions as what BMW calls an “enhanced observer.” The result is sportier handling and more comfort, simultaneously.

2025 BMW X3 M Performance Version

If you’re an enthusiast, you probably are only really wondering how the M Performance version of the G45 X3 feels. Lucky for you, we got firsthand experience there, too. All those cool changes we just mentioned for the PHEV version get further tweaked for the M Performance variant (likely to be dubbed the X3 M50). Plus, it gets a rear axle lock differential, stiffer springs, performance-oriented struts, and re-tuned steering. Adaptive suspension is optional. Just imagine the kit that the new X3 M will ship with.

Steering Feel – Back and Better Than Ever?

All versions of the 2025 BMW X3 get a new steering system dubbed EPSapa. The belt-driven unit also features a more direct steering ratio. It can handle higher load forces than the old system, allowing more accurate feedback. The SUV boasts a familiar steering wheel lifted from the iX and i7, and the performance models get a flat-bottomed version. Notably, the new EPSapa system allows for automated driving implementations – more on that later, perhaps. Naturally, the car features driving modes that can tighten up the steering and make it even more precise.

So, How Does the 2025 BMW X3 Drive?

The updated G45 BMW X3 features enhanced driver assistance capabilities. Although it lacks the Level 2+ system found in more premium BMW models, it enhances existing Level 2 functionalities. Dr. Nicolai Martin, Senior Vice President of Product Line Midsize Class and Luxury Class at BMW, notes that the safety features exceed the NCAP 2023 standards. Notably, the new BMW X3 boasts improved detection of scooters and motorcycles, along with advanced emergency braking and collision warnings that now include brake support for oncoming traffic.

Naturally, the G45 BMW X3 required an upgraded suite of sensors and cameras. At the front, it features a comprehensive radar system capable of detecting objects within a 300-meter range both horizontally and vertically, complemented by short-range radars at the front and rear. Object detection has been enhanced with an 8-megapixel camera installed behind the windshield. Additionally, the surround camera system has been improved with an array of multiple sensors and cameras positioned around the vehicle.